By Akin Akinremi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given a lie to claims by the Bureau De Change operators (BDC) that the apex bank would soon resume the sale of dollars to them under the new flexible foreign exchange policy.
There were reports in some newspapers on Wednesday that under the new foreign exchange policy, the CBN would begin the sale of dollars to BDCs.
A source at CBN said the report published in some newspapers was allegedly sponsored by some BDC operators who called for a meeting without the knowledge of the apex bank.
A source from the apex bank told WESTERN POST that when officials of the apex bank saw the BDC operators in their large numbers early on Wednesday at Glover Hall, Ikoyi, Lagos where they used to meet, the officers called CBN Abuja headquarters to ascertain whether the apex bank was aware of the meeting, but CBN allegedly denied any knowledge of the meeting.
Meanwhile, the source said BDC operators had been holding clandestine meetings with stakeholders in the Forex market on how they can be accommodated under the new Forex rule.
But the involvement of the BDCs under the flexible foreign exchange policy remained unclear as at Wednesday.
Another source at FMDQ said they had had a series of meetings with the BDC operators on the new Forex trading, but claimed the BDCs could not meet the criteria laid down by the CBN.
The source queried why the BDCs were not clandestinely seeking to get what they could not get directly from the apex bank.
The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) had said CBN would soon resume dollar sale to its members, urging them to avoid hoarding of the greenback, among other malpractices.
The CBN had on January 11, 2016 stopped the dollar sale to the BDC operators in a bid to reduce pressure on the naira, saying they had become a conduit for illicit cash flows.
In a text message sent to ABCON members on Tuesday, the President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, had said, “Following the outcome of a just-ended peace talk with the CBN, ABCON leadership wishes to assure you that sales of dollars to the BDCs will resume very soon.
“Once again, you are urged to avoid hoarding, speculation and all other unethical practices. Please, render your returns accordingly.”
But the CBN spokesperson, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, had said he was not aware of any planned resumption of forex sale to the BDCs.